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Mental Health

Small Habits Can Have a Big Impact on Mental Health

— January 26, 2024

Changing unhealthy habits can greatly improve an individual’s mental well-being.

Everyone, by this point, is aware of the ongoing mental health crisis across the United States. Never before has mental health been such a focal point for so many people, and that’s a good thing in many ways. While huge strides are still needed in the way mental health is addressed, at least the focus on this topic is making it more and more viable for people to get the assistance they need. While the focus regarding mental health often revolves around major life events that can send people into a bad place, it’s also the small habits that can add up over time to have a powerful impact.

On some level, most people likely understand that endlessly scrolling on their phones or computers isn’t good for their health. In some circles, this is known as “doomscrolling” – a term that pretty much speaks for itself. As people look at more and more negative content on the internet, they start to have a downgraded perspective on the world around them. Not only that, but it also affects their own personal feelings about life and how it is going. Dramatically cutting back on time spent online is a surefire way to provide a mental health boost.

Keeping with the theme of technology getting in the way of enjoying life, phones that are always on with the volume or vibrating function turned up can be a problem. These settings mean that people are giving the rest of the world access to their brains at any time, around the clock. This is unhealthy, as it always has the potential to pull people out of a nice, positive moment and back into a bad one.

Small Habits Can Have a Big Impact on Mental Health
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

As a related point, checking phones over and over again – as a mindless habit – is also strongly associated with poor mental health. Even when people aren’t sending messages in, it’s easy enough to reach for the phone as a distraction and allow it to cause stress, anxiety, and many other issues.

For something that doesn’t have anything directly to do with technology, many people wind up booking too many things on their schedules. With a schedule that is too crowded to even slow down and take a breath, stress and anxiety are always lurking just around the corner. Some people also tend to associate busyness with productivity, but often the opposite is true. In many cases, the people who keep their schedules mostly clear are those who are getting a lot done and moving forward.

Solving the mental health crisis isn’t going to be an easy task. Awareness is a big step, however, and the more people understand about how their mental health is impacted by their day-to-day habits, the better they will be able to replace these and stay on track. This awareness, along with more tangible resources, including more mental health professionals entering the field, could start to make a meaningful dent in the issue.


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